Kostuch Media Ltd., and Easton’s Group of Hotels Release Anti-Racism Framework

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TORONTO — Kostuch Media Ltd. and Easton’s Group of Hotels are proud to announce the formulation of an Anti-Racism Commitment Framework intended to help the foodservice-and-hospitality industry create a more equitable and just workplace, while also ensuring that diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of their businesses.

Last year, on August 11, 2020, fuelled by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and a burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement, the two companies came together to broadcast a roundtable discussion featuring 11 leaders from the foodservice-and-hospitality industry who spoke on the topic of what needed to be done to dismantle barriers to ensure true equality in the workplace.

Click here to view the webcast

Following the webcast, KML and Easton’s kept the dialogue moving forward by forming an Advisory Committee charged with creating an Anti-Racism Framework and toolkit to help companies in the industry in their efforts to dismantle barriers to racism, as well as promote diversity and inclusion.

Called “Ambassadors of Change,” this group is dedicated to helping create an increasingly equitable and inclusive industry where all races, genders, abilities and under-represented peoples have voices and see themselves represented at all levels —including ownership, management, leadership and on the frontlines.

As part of its anti-racism efforts, the Ambassadors of Change has created a Commitment Framework for companies to sign stating their intention to actively support a culture of anti-racism and help foster an industry that is inclusive and diverse with opportunity for all. 

The Committee has drawn on the efforts of work done by two specific groups: the Black North initiative, created by the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism in Corporate Canada, to challenge senior Canadian business leaders to commit their companies to specific actions and targets to end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for all those in the under-represented BIPOC community; and the 50-30 Challenge, created by the Federal Government in 2019 that asks that organizations aspire to two goals — gender parity of 50 per cent on Canadian boards and senior management and significant representation (30 per cent) on Canadian boards and senior management of other under-represented groups.

Meeting regularly over the past year, the Ambassadors of Change (see below for the names of members) has worked to formulate its Commitment as a starting point for positive change in the industry, leaving it to companies to decide which of the two suggestive frameworks mentioned above they prefer to follow, or alternatively to craft and formalize their own policies. Beyond that, the Ambassadors of Change is committed to making a difference by leveraging companies’ best practices, promoting commitments, addressing challenging views, working to dismantle barriers that exist and holding each other accountable. Kostuch Media Ltd., through its two industry publications, is committed to providing regular updates to the industry as to the progress being made on this front, as well as to consistently disseminate information to help companies in their efforts to dismantle barriers to racism.

“While inroads have been made on diversity and inclusion in the foodservice-and-hospitality community, we believe the industry can do better to ensure its frontlines and its management ranks accurately reflect society,” says Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher of Kostuch Media Ltd. (Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier magazines).“It’s understood that some companies may not be able to achieve all the requirements as quickly as others, but we also know that every journey starts with small steps.”

“While we all were fighting the silent war with COVID-19, a war that we have been fighting for decades, racism became very loud for all of us,” says Reetu Gupta, CEO, Easton’s Group of Hotels. “Growing up and being a minority in Toronto, I faced racism from childhood to now. Watching the situation with George Floyd, I felt that now, more than ever, we all need to take a stand. I wrote a public open letter asking everyone to stand with me and Rosanna Caira was the first one to say, let’s make this change and help. I’m so grateful. Rosanna then led the charge to create this Anti-Racism framework for our industry.”

The pledge and toolkit are available at foodserviceandhospitality.com

We hope you will join the mission to help Canada’s dynamic foodservice-and-hospitality industry become a more equitable industry.

The Ambassadors of Change Committee includes:

  • Rosanna Caira, editor/publisher, Kostuch Media Ltd.,
  • Reetu Gupta, CEO, Easton’s Group of Hotels
  • Michelle Caine, chair, Hospitality Management, Centennial College
  • Christina Veira, GM/Partner, Bar Mordecai
  • Don Cleary, president, Marriott Hotels of Canada
  • Vito Curalli, executive director, International Sales and Industry Relations, Hilton Hotels Canada
  • Sara Glenn, COO, Accor
  • Juanita Dickson, president, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group

For more information on the Anti-Racism Framework, contact: rcaira@kostuchmedia.com

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